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The Doors - L.A. Woman CD (album) cover


The Doors



4.02 | 503 ratings

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4 stars I liked this album when I first heard it. Now though, I find it a problem. Standing further back from it, you realise that at this point the Doors had already given up, or lost their vision. Perhaps this was Jim Morrison's fault, given his childish scrapes with authority and law, and his even more childish wish to go out on a youthful high rather than live his full and eventful life with all its highs and lows as the rest of us have to do.

That weariness pervades this album, even though it still retains quite a bit of Doors-ish charm and liberal moments of poetic images. In retrospect, it sounds like a last goodbye.

The Changeling is tough and chunky, defiant almost, a man sounding much older than his 27 years.

Love her Madly is the radio version of the Doors, mainly because it's written by Robbie rather than Jim, but it still has that very distinctive voice to make the lyric and melody sound more convincing that they really are.

Been down so long basically consists of a one-liner blues, built into the full thing, but carried off well nevertheless.

The Cars hiss by my Window reminds us of that Sunset strip atmosphere and the first album, but it's closer to night now, the feeling of decay and dissilution is in the motel with us.

LA Woman, almost a last act of defiance, even the voice battling against its own weakness to give us one more day of LA sunshine from morning till night and shadows return.

L'America is one of the weakest spots on the album, and sounds like something not part of proceedings. Basically an out-take from the earlier film, used to take up space and pretty pointless in most ways.

Hyacinth House should be just a throwaway, given the meandering lyrics and standard tune, but there is a sadness of truth contained within it, perhaps the meaningless of a life wasted, things left unresolved, situations that can never be saved.

Crawling King Snake makes it obvious that the band were either just having fun or finding it difficult to fill out the album, take your pick.

WASP was being worked on for a while before the album was planned, so it was perhaps inevitable that it should end up here. A well put together piece, but rather self-conscious and contrived without the saving grace of much inspiration.

Riders on the Storm made me think immediately of 'Ghost Riders in the Sky', almost corny and laughable. Yet it carries that haunted quality that makes you pause in thought rather than laugh, and it has become something of a Doors classic metaphor. Which, if you think of it, carries both the sublime and the mundane.

Analysed like this in its parts, I wonder why I like the album at all, yet I do. It has a weary magnificence that still makes it a welcome coda to the story of The Doors.

JeanFrame | 4/5 |


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